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Zimbabwe players threaten boycott of T20I tri-series

Harare, June 5: Zimbabwe players have threatened to boycott the upcoming T20I tri-series against Pakistan and Australia from July 1 if their outstanding salaries and match fees were not cleared by June 25.

According to a report by espncricinfo, the Zimbabweans are owed three months’ salary and match fees from their tour of Sri Lanka last July and have already opted not to train ahead of the tri-series as a first sign of protest.

A Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) spokesperson, however, appeared optimistic that a solution to this situation is nearly at hand.

“Due to a very difficult financial situation beyond its control, ZC has been unable to meet some of its obligations, including paying player and staff salaries in time,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.

“However, because this is a matter of top priority, ZC has been working round the clock to address the challenge and, as promised to the players by our chairman, ZC expects to start processing payments this week,” he added.

Reacting to the assurance from the board, one of the players said: “It’s a complete joke at the moment.”

“ZC made out as though some players were injured to save face. They didn’t bother that the big-name players weren’t available, they just needed to get the games out of the way. No one knows how things will work going forward,” he added.

ZC has had a long-standing history of problems spanning over nearly two decades, as a once-formidable lineup reeled under political interventions.

According to insiders, the cricket board is as cash-strapped as ever, with debts in the region of $19 million. IANS